September 30, 2008


Trojans unbeaten streak continues in scoreless tie


Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
Homer Central’s Carl Zimmerman (6) watches the ball sail by as a Skaneateles Laker gives pursuit Monday night at Butts Field. Zimmerman was part of this latest Trojan shutout, playing to a 0-0 overtime tie.

Though a second straight soccer tie will not move Homer Central boys up the OHSL Liberty Division standings much, the Trojans are still feeling pretty good about themselves these days.
Homer and Skaneateles played to a scoreless 0-0 overtime tie Monday evening at George W. Butts Field, but the standoff was quite a departure from the 5-2 loss the Trojans suffered against these same Lakers earlier this season.
“It’s still movement in the right direction,” said Coach Dave Shiffman as his team improved to 5-4-2 on the season.
Homer is 4-0-2 in its last six games, with five of those outings shutouts. The only goal the Trojans gave up was in a 1-1 overtime time to Liberty Division contender Marcellus last week.
Skaneateles had few chances to get anything past goalie Jack Kissel in this rematch, as the Trojan defense led by sweeper Brendan L’Hommedieu continues to make fewer and fewer mistakes.
Better touches on the ball by all the Trojans have made this a tough team to score upon, in Coach Shiffman’s mind. “Because we didn’t give the ball away, Skaneateles didn’t have a lot of scoring chances,” he said.
Outside of a couple of long free kicks and some hard, low throw-ins that the Lakers were able to flick towards goal from the top of the box, Kissel didn’t have much to do. He finished with three saves in this shutout.
Homer had the best scoring chances, starting in the opening half when Skaneateles keeper Jacob Bird made a stellar diving save on a Corey Hess opportunity. A strong diagonal run by Hess was rewarded by a Sam Watrous pass that set up that scoring chance that Bird denied.
Homer almost pulled off a perfect play off a direct kick scoring chance with just over a minute to play in the second overtime stanza. The pass on that play just missed finding Luke Pedersen in scoring position, a subsequent shot by a teammate sailing over the crossbar.
The Trojans finished with a dozen shots overall, Bird coming up with nine saves for the Lakers (6-4-2).
“This game was a little better than the Marcellus game,” said Shiffman, referring to that other tie that has the Trojans 1-4-2 in league play. “Even though that was a tie too, we had more possession in this game.”
Brett Stokoe continues his improved play for the Trojans, the senior “making things happen all over the field” in Coach Shiffman’s words. The coach also liked the way goalie Kissel continues to control play in the box and was happy with the effort of the 13 Trojans asked to put in overtime work without a drop off in intensity.
The Trojans will now head to Westhill Wednesday looking to avenge an earlier 5-0 loss to the Warriors, game time at 6:30. Westhill is 6-1 in the Liberty Division and 8-3 overall after beating Marcellus 3-2 in overtime yesterday.
HOMER JVs were blanked 4-0 by Skaneateles, the visitors breaking a scoreless halftime tie by striking twice over the opening six minutes of the second stanza.
“It was really too bad we that we lost by so much because we could play with this team and we played so well in the first half,” said Homer coach Chad Totman, the Trojans (3-5) with a 9-6 shot edge in that opening half.
Drew Christopher had a solid game splitting time between sweeper and midfield for the Trojans.
Homer teams visit Westhill on Wednesday.